Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


Document Type


Date of this Version



Sensors and Materials, Vol. 30, No. 8 (2018) 1775–1786. http://dx.doi.org/10.18494/SAM.2018.1871


ISSN 0914-4935 © MYU K.K.


Construction activities, involving cutting, drilling, and grinding of materials, often produce toxic respirable dust that can cause fatal diseases and illnesses. To protect workers from breathing excessive amounts of respirable dust at job sites, superintendents should continuously monitor the level of respirable dust in workspaces and make timely interventions for overexposed workers. However, current practices of respirable dust monitoring have critical drawbacks, and superintendents cannot accurately estimate workers’ exposures to respirable dust or make prompt decisions to protect the workers. Therefore, there is a need for real-time air dust monitoring that can be deployed ubiquitously at a construction site and be integrated as part of daily construction management. In this research, we developed a real-time dust monitoring system that comprises a network of low-cost mobile dust sensors and visualization in building information modeling (BIM). Single-board computers and dust sensors were integrated as field deployment units. Inaccurate sensors were calibrated automatically on the basis of an accurate ground truth sensor. A BIM-based visualization system was developed to present the data collected from dust sensors in real time. A prototype system was developed and tested in a controlled environment.